I get rejection letters -- on occasion. It takes forever for short stories to get read and I haven't sent out my novel in months. You can send out many queries on the same project at the same time for novels, but short stories progress only one magazine at a time so I get fewer now than I did when I thought my novel was good enough. (There are obvious and specific problems that were pointed out to me that I have yet to fix, thank you to the agent who took the time to read it).
But my point was that rejections don't discourage me. At least not much. I have a little sadness, but I'm lucky enough to have a husband that believes in me and helps me get past it to try again.
When I read good books, I am not discouraged. I get excited. Overjoyed. Thrilled in the words and the action and happy with the idea that I might someday make people feel something too. That I might pull them into my imagination and make them happy, excited, frightened, sad and make their day a little better or at least more interesting.
Bad books make me sad. I wonder what people saw in them that pushed it through the publication process. I wonder about the waste of money, the loss of trees, and occasionally why so many people don't see the problems with the story that I do. But with the idea that there are many kinds of people in the world, I am really alright with these books too. They're simply not for me, so I move on to the next.
When do I get discouraged then?
Oddly, when I read mediocre books. When I read books that I don't love and I don't hate. That I can read all the way through, that have no problem I can put my finger on, but don't really make me feel or care. I don't know what to do with these books so I get sad. And I get discouraged. And I wonder if I can really write, if this is the career/dream for me.
I'm not sure why.
Because I'm afraid that this is what I'll write?
I don't know.
What discourages you? Is it rejections? Is it what you read? And if you know why the books in the middle are the ones that bother me so much, I'd love to hear that too.